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negative attitude of revolt against the traditional' policy, which however has not, even yet, resulted in a clear and courageous declaration for the future. In the month of June 1913 Roumania had the satisfaction of a great diplomatic success (a little over-emphasised by a press prone to take impressionist and optimistic views), brought about entirely by the rapid and striking display of military force, amounting to half a million welltrained troops, on the other side of the Danube. The Balkan world, entirely disorganised by the war of 1877-8, was, with the exception of a few scattered dreamers, wholly unconscious of the need that had existed from that date onward, of forming a united defensive Balkan confederation. Such a confederation was required, on the one hand to prevent the outrages of a corrupt Turkey against those Christians who still remained under their rule (Slavs, Greeks, Albanians, and the Aroumanians of Macedonia), and on the other, to put a stop to the daily encroachments of Russia and Austria, continually vying with each other in their efforts to recreate the Eastern Empire of Rome to their own advantage. Bulgaria, under Stambulov, had had the courage to shake off the absorbing influence of Russia, only to return in a short time to the feet of her mighty elder sister. From this position, it is true, she soon seceded again, in accordance with a policy of opportunism adopted with the object of regaining, sooner or later, the frontier marked out for her by the Treaty of San Stefano. The policy of Servia, under her astute King Milan, destined to fall a victim to his own vices, was Austrian; she pursued the same policy under Milan's unfortunate son Alexander, who was assassinated, not without suspicion of alien instigation. The accession of King Peter, a member of the rival family of Karageorgévitsch-a family attached to Russia by a long-standing friendship-brought about an abrupt change of front, followed almost immediately by differences with Austria. These differences were accentuated by the formal annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. Montenegro meanwhile vegetated in the pay of Petrograd, which lavished money on the army and the Court. Greece, intoxicated with vain hopes, was sunk in unparalleled inactivity, dreaming that the realisation of her great idea' would be brought about by the spread of philhellenism and the reign of justice in Europe.
Roumania had therefore a great part to play-namely, to arouse on all sides the resolution to act independently of foreign support. To a combination of forces in the Balkans such action was decidedly possible at that time; but, in order to create the resolution in others, it was necessary that Roumania should be fully conscious of it herself. Her advice would then be listened to, her directions followed; and with her greater wealth, her older organisation, her incomparably superior civilisation, both material and spiritual, and the prestige of her sovereign, her supremacy would be assured. This important and difficult task, however, had not even been attempted, when, in the autumn of 1912, the political leaders at Bucarest were suddenly confronted by the uprising of the Balkan League. In the face of this emergency, they had no clear idea what attitude to adopt. Regret was expressed in certain quarters that
. Roumania had not accepted the better strategic frontier offered her by Russia in 1878 for the new province of Dobrudscha, which would have extended as far as the line Rustschuk-Chumla–Varna. The word 'quadrilateral, which had a purely military signification, was flung out; and an excited public was quick to catch it up. Diplomatic mediation was attempted, but proved almost fruitless, resulting, after the decisions of the European Conference at Petrograd, in little else but the acquisition of the town of Silistria with a circumference of three kilometres. Then, in July 1913, on the advice of France and Russia, as well as of Austria-Hungary, anxious to use Roumania in order to strike a blow at the toosuccessful Balkan League, recourse was had to military intervention, which led to the extension of the Roumanian frontier as far as Varna, and the incorporation of TurcoBulgarian territory within that line.
The Treaty of Bucarest (1913) was concluded in haste. Cholera was raging ; Austrian intrigue was rife; it was necessary to come to a decision as speedily as possible. Had the various Balkan problems been thoroughly studied at Bucarest, had there even been greater liberty of discussion, the work of readjustment, in which Roumania took the lead, might have been fertile of
good results. But, carried away by rejoicings over peace restored, over the recognition of Roumanian prestige, over the assured future of the Aroumanians,* and lastly over the acquisition of a strategic frontier, people in Roumania took too optimistic a view of what was to follow. Instead of quiet and determined efforts, directed towards the rebuilding of the ruins and the quelling of animosity, the Balkan peoples were confronted by disturbances in Albania, discontent in Macedonia, and cabals and attacks on the part of a press for ever egging them on to cut each other's throats.
Greece, which had managed to acquire the larger share of the booty taken from her two successive enemies, was in alliance with Servia, the second of the two • beati possidentes.' Is there a similar treaty between Servia and Roumania ? It is certainly believed to exist. But, on the other hand, the military convention with Austria-Hungary is said to have been renewed by M. Maiorescu. It was in this condition of things that the heir to the Austrian throne was assassinated at Serajevo last June by a Serb; and Austria-Hungary took up arms to crush the 'horde of assassins' at Belgrade.
In this crisis was Roumania to uphold Servia ? Public opinion was unanimous in desiring it. But the attack on this valiant little people coincided with the outbreak of European war. Roumania had announced at Sofia that she was determined to uphold the Peace of Bucarest'; she had also declared that she would resist any attempt ou the part of Bulgaria against Serbian Macedonia; and it is impossible to say whether this declaration may not have influenced the attitude of Bulgaria, though that country may well have had other reasons for remaining neutral. Overtures on the part of the Young Turks, who were completely subservient to German policy, met with no success. On the contrary, they even called forth a general outcry against the promoter of them, Talaat Effendi, himself.
At such a time as this, when the most imposing political structures seemed to tremble under the blows
* They are still without the bishops promised in the terms of the Treaty; and most of the Roumanian schools in Macedonia still remain closed.
of Fate, no war-like measures could have been ventured upon without some external support. Roumania wishes to come to an understanding with her older Latin sister, Italy, whose situation offers certain analogies with her own. But between the positions of the two states there are also essential differences. Austria is in a position to offer her partner, who has found in the Triple Alliance no reason for joining the Germanic Powers in the war, compensations on the Balkan shores of the Adriatic, without reducing herself to political bankruptcy--a painful expedient even for those who find themselves in extremis. That is not, however, as we shall see, the position of Roumania. Bulgaria has every reason for opposing any policy on the part of Servia which aims at the dismemberment of the Dual Monarchy; and Greece has nothing to gain by a disastrous development of the Austro-Hungarian crisis. As for Turkey, she is already doing her best to assist her Germanic allies by all means in her power.
The support of a united Balkan Peninsula, which Roumania might at one time have hoped for, is in these circumstances out of the question. She must either fall back upon her old policy, the disastrous consequences of which she knows only too well, or embark on a new course whose risks she cannot foresee and dares not encounter. It is, nevertheless, incumbent on her to decide; and only one course is open to her.
There are in Russian Bessarabia some 2,000,000 Roumanians who have been deprived little by little of their rights—of archbishop, bishops and priests of their own nationality, of schools and church services in their own tongue, and of any literary or cultural activities of their own.
The Roumanian population in Austrian Bukovina, torn without a blow from Moldavia in 1775, is swamped by Jewish innkeepers, who rule the towns, and by peasants of Ruthenian and Little-Russian stock, who, favoured by the administration, have now attained a numerical majority, especially in the north. In Transylvania and the neighbouring districts as far as the Theiss, there are 3,500,000 Roumanians, while in the independent Kingdom of Roumania there are only about twice that number.
Has there ever been, is there anywhere at the present day, a nation that would tolerate such a situation ? To understand it one would have to imagine some fifteen millions of Frenchmen or ten millions of Italians, living under a foreign yoke and yet in close proximity to the State to which they naturally belong, a State founded on the basis of nationality by their independent compatriots. The whole policy of such a State must be primarily influenced by anxiety as to the fate of these brothers and by the duty of emancipating them.
The Roumanians of Hungary, it should be added, form the sanest element in the race, consisting as they do of peasants, hardy, thrifty and industrious, and closely attached to their priests and bishops, whom they look upon as their political leaders. The Roumania of to-day feels the need of this new, healthy blood to reinforce her after the reaction which necessarily followed on the great expenditure of force during the period of her heroic effort. Moreover, the support and example of these peasants, who have enjoyed a prolonged period of economic and social (though not political) liberty, is necessary for the salvation of those thousands who have only recently escaped from a state of wretchedness, the result of years of oppression and destitution. It is because they have enjoyed this partial liberty that our compatriots long for complete national emancipation. All their efforts have been directed towards this end. They sought it long ago through their bishops, who were buffeted and imprisoned by the Calvinistic Magyar aristocracy; through the 'union' of their priests with the Roman Catholic Church of the Emperor, when he became ruler of the country in 1692; later, by discussions in the provincial diets, by peasant risings (as under Horea in 1784), by petitions to the sovereign (e.g. the 'Supplex libellus' of 1791), by organisation of the self-governing churches among the united,' and especially among the 'orthodox,' combined with the participation of the laity in its administration (1850–60); by violent altercations in the Parliament of Budapest after the annexation of Transylvania to the Kingdom of Hungary and the establishment of the Dual Monarchy (1867); by energetic campaigns in the press; by appeals to the public opinion of Europe, to the interests of the Triple Alliance itself, and to their compatriots in independent Roumania.